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Tribes and Festivals

Spirits that roam the jungle and villages, the fertility of mother earth, social bonding among communities, purification and rejuvenation are the main elements that form the souls of the festivals of the Naga people. Each tribe that inhabit the land has got its own custom and this translates into a festival. Before travelling, every traveler should arrange his / her calendar in consultation with the tour coordinators of Koyeli Tours & Travels.

Though a predominantly Christian State, each tribe in Nagaland annually celebrates its respective traditional festival, spawned from the animistic past. In order to fully understand and appreciate the significance of these tribal festivals of Nagaland, one has to travel back to the days of one’s head-hunting ancestors.

Festival s are spirited . In Nagaland, they are for the spirits too. Most festivals thus began as a propitiation of the spirits, involving abstinence for purification of self, the house and the village. Nagas followed an unwritten lunar calendar indicating some kind of astronomical prowess. This calendar invariably had 12months, each with28-30 days. Some like the Angamis even had a 13th month.

All festivals in Nagaland initially followed the lunar months, usually the phase between a new moon and a full moon. They have been rescheduled today to fit the Gregorian calendar.

In Nagaland festivals entail feasting and no feast is complete without a sumptuous serving of meat. A man who did not touch meat was considered not capable of fathering a child. Which portion of meat is given to whom, is of significance. The head of an animal butchered goes to elders, tastiest part of meat is reserved for elder brother, the grandfather receives softer morsels of spleen, liver and intestine, the eldest aunt on father’s side gets the ribcage muscle. The forelegs go to kin of the father’s sister while sons and daughters-in-law have the right to the hind legs. The abdominal meat is meant for the mother’s elder brother.


Period   Last week of January
Tribe   Kachari
Main Festival   Bushu
District   Dimapur

Period   February
Tribe   Angami
Main Festival   Sekrenyi
District   Kohima

Period   April 13
Tribe   Konyak
Main Festival   Aoling
District   Mon

Period   May 02
Tribe   Ao
Main Festival   Moatsu
District   Mokokchung